The name Domuyo comes from the Mapuche language and means "that trembles and grumbles". However, several days of work in his imposing and desolate kingdom may not be enough to hear tremors or continuous grumbles. What can be perceived, in the gradual discovery, in the step by step of footprints and rustic paths, is an insurmountable dose of peace and immaculate eternity. Today, it has been proven that its geological name of volcano is not the right one. It only belongs to a massif whose location has to do with a volcanic environment. Its 4709 m.a.s.l. represent a good challenge to the mountaineer. But beyond the height, what is impressive is its structure. The powerful south face, the one that is part of the route known as normal and the most used, has a ridge that, seen from the Covunco Valley, is really moving. Its south-southwest glacier is divided into two parts by a kind of long Nunatak and is the official origin of the Covunco River. The Portezuelo del Viento is visibly located between a semi-rounded nose to the East and a kind of striking needle to the West. Between this needle and the source of the mentioned glacier rises the short, snowy and steep south wall that rises from the glacier to the edge that leads to the pre-summit.
The volcano is located on an edge of the so-called Cordillera del Viento, north of the province of Neuquén, in the northern reaches of Patagonia. This mountain range does not belong geologically or geographically to the Cordillera de los Andes. Millions of years ago, before the formation of the Andes itself, the area currently occupied by the Domuyo was completely covered by sea. Hence the amount of marine fossil remains such as ammonites, trilobites, algae and others that are usually found on its slopes. Eroded and volcanic rock is the common denominator throughout the terrain and presents a unique drawback when traversing long snowless hauls and exposed sheer ridges.
Our style in expeditions to Domuyo:
There are several ways to try to access the summit of any mountain. In this case there are options to make rapid ascents in duration and very explosive, trying the summit from the Base Camp. We have been visiting the mountain for more than 15 years with groups and we have always given importance to gradual acclimatization and the realization of a high camp, so that everyone has the best and greatest chances of achieving the objective. In this way, our expedition to Domuyo lasts a week, to enjoy the wonderful surroundings and to give each body the option to prepare and acclimatize properly.
Section in blue: by vehicle; in red: the walking route.
This trek can be combined with ascent to the Lanin Volcano (see previous or later dates on our calendar)
Recommendation: sleep in the town of Zapala the night before.
Day 1: Meeting in the town of Zapala, Neuquén, at 9 am approx. From this city we will travel by charter vehicle (mini bus) to the north. We will pass through Chos Malal, Andacollo, Las Ovejas, Varvarco. In the last section the route has a singular beauty with curves, ascents and descents, while gradually the gigantic Cordillera del Viento is sighted, where we can see Domuyo Volcano, 4709 meters above sea level, the highest point in Patagonia and our goal on this expedition. Arrival at the "playón" and start of the very short walk, 30 minutes, until we reach our first camp.
Day 2: In the morning, we will enter the great valley that is to the south of the great volcano. Its mysterious and majestic silhouette invites us and calls us. Lunch on the way. We will pass by numerous high altitude lagoons that have a high content of minerals such as sulfur and iron. In one of them, of deep emerald color, we will set up our camp 1, almost at 3000 m.a.s.l. From here, the view is truly amazing: hanging glaciers, volcanic terrain, abysmal slopes, eternal snow. Overnight.
Day 3: Increasing the acclimatization necessary to carry out activities at higher altitudes, we will have, if the weather allows it, a brief practice with pickaxes and crampons to prepare for the day of ascent in the morning. In the afternoon we will try to set up a higher camp at 3400 or 3700 masl, depending on conditions. The rise is felt and we will be closer to our goal. Here we will set up our new camp trying to cover ourselves in the best possible way from the inclement wind. Overnight.
Day 4: Summit attempt. We go up the well-defined southern spur and access a large platform with unimaginable views of glaciers and valleys. From that place it is possible that we wil have to use crampons and a pickaxe and that is where the real ascent begins. Step by step and breathing properly we will ascend the ridge that will deposit us in the pre-summit and, later, the long-awaited summit of 4709 m.a.s.l. A sea of ??mountains and landscape dreams rises below and in the distance. Photos and celebrations, and return to our high altitude camp.
Day 5: Descent to the camp before the Playón. Last camp on the mountain. Option to walk to the hot springs and spend the night there.
Day 6: Final 20 minute walk to the "Playón", place where our vehicle will pick us up. Transfer to Aguas Calientes to meet and enjoy the unique and unmissable natural hot springs in the area. Lunch. Then, transfer back to Zapala, where we will arrive in the afternoon-evening. End of our services.
For those who continue with the ascent to Lanin, then the transfer will leave them in San Martin de los Andes.
5-day expedition to the highest peak in Patagonia. Argentina
In all our expeditions we offer the service of meals IN FULL BOARD PLAN:
It is necessary to complete the personal/medical record to clarify if someone does not eat any type of food.
In high mountain tents, for 2 or 3 people.
It has no technical difficulty but it does have some physics with some height. It is advisable to have some previous experience in trekking or some other ascent.
For any mountain activity you need to have previous physical preparation, or be physically active.
Important to have some previous experience in different treks. We recommend having good physical condition, and knowing that the modality is a journey, where you walk during the day with a backpack, and spend the night in a wild camp. The summit day is intense.
Two nights in Varvarco in cabins or hostel and mountain tents in igloo-type tents, comfortable and for 2/3 or 4 people.
The tents are included in the service.
Although the time of year is summer, in Andean and/or wild areas, temperatures tend to drop at night.
The stops are given with a frequency and graduation according to the intensity. There are stops for lunch, snack, and rest.
From 15 years of age.
In a woman a range from 13 to 15 kilos, in a man from 15 to 20 kilos.
We do not have a mule porterage service since it is difficult to locate the providers of the place. However, that possibility may exist in the place and that the cost will be borne by each participant.
20% Up to 5 Kilos: Short excursion walks / Trekking Talampaya
40% Up to 8/10 Kilos: Round-trip trekking / Vallecitos 3 and 4-day programs
60% Up to 12/15 kilos: Crossing trekking with porting / Crossing of the Andes Paso Portillo
80% More than 15/18 kilos: Cross-country trekkings with little or no portage / Trekkings in Patagonia (Paso Vuriloche, PN Lanin or Nahuel Huapi, etc)
100% More than 25 Kilos: With a lot of equipment on top and little or no porting / Continental Ice
20% half a day or less with little unevenness.
40% more sustained slopes and longer days in the activity. 2-3 days / more than 6 hours per day.
60% Long ascents and descents with a longer duration. Ascents to more than 4000 meters in the central mountain range / intense 4-day trekking (Uruguayan plane)
80% Important work of legs in resistance. Very long days. Very long day ascents (Lanin - Domuyo) or more than 5000 meters. Ice courses.
100% Maximum demand. Aerobic work and constant effort on legs. Continental Ice, Aconcagua, mountains of more than 6000 meters.
20% flat land
40% trails with moderate ups and downs. General crossing trekkings . Sierra de la Ventana, Córdoba, Patagonia, Cuyo, north, others. Classic ascents
60% Steeper slopes and trails. Possible use of crampons. Domuyo, Cordón del Plata, Cordillera Central.
80% Mixed terrain, with snow or ice. Alvear, Lanin, Tronador. Bolivia, Peru.
100% Highly technical terrain. Glacial transit and climbing in sections. Hill climbing with sections on slopes of more than 60 ° inclination
20% We will not be much affected.
40% This is a normal level of attention.
60% We require more motivation, enthusiasm and concentration.
80% The activity will require us to be very connected and convinced.
100% Maximum control and emotional-psychological performance.
0% + sea level.
20% Up to 2000 masl.
40% + 2000 masl.
60% + 4000 masl.
80% + 5000 masl.
100% + 6000 masl.
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